Patrick Kwok-Choon Interivew
[00:00:00] Jeff: Hello listeners. I’ll spoiler country. We have a very special episode today because our guest is Mr.
Patrick. from the tablet, television show, star Trek discovery. How’s it going, Patrick? I’m really well on you. It’s going well before the interview. I did a bunch of research on you. Yeah. And I will say your life is actually very fascinating.
Patrick Kwok-Choon: Oh really? That’s, that’s kind of cool. Here it is.
Jeff: So I was going through some of your prior tweets.
And I read that you mentioned that your parents, when you grew up in Canada, owned a convenience store for 25 years. And during that time they experienced things like theft, vandalism, and racism. So I thought to myself, what kind of impact did that have on you growing up and now as an adult as
Patrick Kwok-Choon: well? Yeah.
You know, to, to, to be honest, Those incidents happened when I was fairly young, I was probably like eight or maybe eight or 10 or 11. So, you know, I remember my parents, the outrage on their face, the anger that I saw the hurt that [00:01:00] they felt. But at the time, obviously couldn’t fully comprehend that level of violation when you’re You know, regard it as something other, when you’re being insulted for the way that you look or the way that you sound in a country that you’ve given so much of, of, of, of who you are for the betterment of your family to, to, to give them an opportunity that you didn’t have in the country that you were born in.
So I’m fortunate enough to have been raised in an area of Montreal that was very diverse. So I had a lot of friends who were South South Asian, who were black, who were Caucasian or Asian. So I grew up in a very multicultural environment. But when you ask about what, how it changed my worldview to be honest, I think I.
Have my guard up a lot of the time, especially in sketchy situations, you know, if I’m, for some reason, going to a small town where I feel I’m, you know, I’ll stick out like a sore thumb because I’m the only Asian person in that [00:02:00] town. I worry, or I anticipate getting You know, being the victim of, of, of of some sort of racial incident it’s happened to me in the past and usually when I’m least expecting it which is really unfortunate and it, it leaves a Mark on you as a person.
So, but that’s the baggage that I carry as a person of color. And I’ve talked to a lot of my friends who are black, who with the BLM movement You know, they tell me about their experiences getting pulled over by police officers and how they fear for their lives sometimes, or they have to manage it.
And that’s the re that’s their reality. And my reality is my reality. And it’s unfortunately yeah. Changed my outlook a little bit. But yeah. Well,
Jeff: was it something that your parents tried shooting from you when it was happening when you were younger or were they, did they have discussions with you about what was happening?
Patrick Kwok-Choon: No, no. As, as a child of immigrants, they, unfortunately, they, they weren’t able to, they didn’t have that in their [00:03:00] vocabulary to discuss those kinds of issues. You know it wasn’t like they shielded it away from us. They just didn’t know how to describe how they were feeling. I don’t come from a very emotional family.
I think that’s part of the reason why I became an actor. Because it’s a safe spot to to be to get in touch with your emotions, to present the, the, the wide spectrum of your humanity for people to witness So, no, we didn’t have those kinds of conversations, unfortunately. We do have them now but not at this time.
No, I had to learn that on my own, which you know, it’s not a bad thing.
Jeff: And, and I think it’s interesting that the show that you’re on star Trek discovery as well, go into a little bit later is a show about a, a universe or the Federation that is all about equality and going. Evolving past the point of these racial issues, given your some difficult that you’ve had in the past.
Do you, does that also alter your perspective and your role in the show? And or how you approach the show,
Patrick Kwok-Choon: how I [00:04:00] approach it. I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s really part of the reason why I love being part of this show because we’ve reached a point in humanity where, you know, we can set aside those differences, or we have the means to bridge those gaps to strive, to be better than what we are to reach out and to embrace and to settle our differences through peace and not through war.
So it’s really telling what the times that we’re experiencing how important the show really is. That’s why I’m so proud to be part of this, this franchise, because you know, as an actor, not every day, not every job is, is so creatively fulfilling. Sometimes it’s just a paycheck. But when being part of star Trek discovery, it’s like we’re promoting change.
And we’re we’re helping people through these dark times
Jeff: now being after the show is science fiction. However, that aspect of it, the idea of reaching that level or the post, maybe racism world, do you think that’s part of more of the part of the [00:05:00] fiction side of it? Or do you think that is something we’ll eventually achieve?
Patrick Kwok-Choon: Hmm, it’s a good question. I mean, one can only hope that we’ll be able to settle our differences and we’ll be able to achieve that. Time will tell. I mean, I think star Trek is, is definitely popular and adored because it does provide a mirror and a reflection of what society is experiencing and To show that we can settle our differences, even though we look different or we think differently, or we have different religious beliefs there is a way, and it’s not through being combatitive through fomenting divisiveness.
It’s through. Reaching some level of mutual understanding and acceptance. And that’s the key.
Jeff: Yeah. And I must say also when I was looking up learning a little more about you, I found one thing I found fascinating about you is that you discussed quite openly, that you were diagnosed with ADHD about a year ago.
I’m a high school teacher [00:06:00] at a therapeutic high school. I have a lot of students who deal with ADHD and some other issues as well, but ADHD and add is some of the stuff they deal with. So what could I, what kinda advice would you give my students on how. To deal with handling ADHD as as, as an issue.
And how have you managed to be successful in coping with it?
Patrick Kwok-Choon: Yeah. Yeah, so you’re right. I did get myself diagnosed maybe about a year and a half ago. Because I’m starting to have a bigger platform and a bigger social media reach.
I think it’s important to step up as a leader. And this is a cause that I’m very passionate about because it affects me on a day-to-day basis. So all I really can do is share my own experiences and ADHD. There’s such a wide spectrum of ADHD. You know, you could be hyperactive, you could be inattentive, you can have it.
Combined symptoms. So what I would tell your students is that you’re not weird. You’re not strange. You’re just different. Your brain is wired differently and that’s not a [00:07:00] bad thing. I mean, part of my success is because I have ADHD. I consider it my super power that I just have to learn how to harness. You know, the cons are, I’m very forgetful.
I’m very impulsive sometimes. I procrastinate like you wouldn’t believe if I don’t have a sense of urgency in my life to meet a deadline, then I just, I I’ll leave it to the last minute. And I have for the, for the, for, for the longest time that I can remember. But part of the benefits is that I can hyper-focus.
If I’m passionate about something, I will commit, I will, I will not eat. I will not sleep. No. It’s a great source of my creativity. I’m such an out of the box thinker. I love jumping from project to project because it just, it feeds me. And I’ll tell your students that look at all this really successful celebrities.
They’re like Justin Timberlake, Adam Levine, Michael Phelps, Solange Knowles. These are all people who have gone on record saying that they have ADHD and look at what they’ve been able to achieve now to tell your students that. [00:08:00] There’s also a lot of resources out there that I’ve tapped into. A great source on YouTube is Jessica McCabe, how to ADHD very insightful very nice digestible tidbits about ADHD and ways to hack your brain to manage those symptoms.
There’s a huge community of people out there with ADHD that you could tap into. On Instagram, on social media, on Twitter. And the last thing I think I would tell your students is, you know really limit your exposure to social media and your phone use. It’s scientifically proven that they’ve crafted these devices and these, these apps to give you.
Stimulus to give you a sense of pleasure when you get those likes on social media. When you, you know, when you get those messages, it kind of triggers your brain into wanting more and people have ADHD. We’re, we’re susceptible to that. I used to work at a casino in Montreal and I just still remember people.
Being glued to the slot machines and I link it to our social [00:09:00] media, our, our, our, our telephones. We’re just getting this information, this like constant stimulus. So try not to be a puppet, you know, try to be, try to be the puppeteer, you know, try to try to take control of your life because Yeah, you don’t want, you don’t want your brain to kind of give up or not meet its full potential because your brain does have a lot of potential.
You just haven’t harnessed it yet.
Jeff: I, I must admit with, when you mentioned things with the the phone and everything else, that’s going to vice versa. I think almost everybody at this point we try, I think we all need to be better at walking away from our devices. Oh dude.
Patrick Kwok-Choon: I’ve like I am I’m I’m I’m.
Sorry. I I’m addicted to my phone. Don’t get me wrong. You know, even though I preach all these things, like it’s hard for me to do it myself, but the wonderful thing about getting diagnosed with ADHD is it’s given me that knowledge. It’s given me greater understanding of how my brain works. How my brain, I like to use the term tries to play tricks on me, to be lazy, to not meet the deadlines that [00:10:00] I need to meet, to not work.
And so I have more and more tools in my tool belt, how to hack my brain, how to manage and how to Deek my brain from, from stopping me from doing what I need to do to lead a nice productive, successful life. And telephone use is one of them. I’m slowly building my gym because of the pandemic that we’re facing.
So I’m building a gym in my house and I love building the gym more than actually working out. Cause it’s a creative project calls for like some visions and creativity. But every morning, I leave my telephone the night before downstairs in my family room, I leave my computer. I don’t touch it in the morning because I know if I touch it and I go on social media, I will spend the next 30 minutes to an hour.
Just scrolling, looking at the news, getting information that I don’t need at that time in the morning. What I need in the morning is my, my meditation, my, my working out schedule. And I can always go to my phone when I need to, but you have to, you’re in [00:11:00] control. You have to be able to set those kinds of roadblocks for yourself.
And it, it, it, you have to start creating those small steps. You’re not, it’s not going to change overnight by no means, but. You know, little by little, you have to work at it and you kind of increase that, that discipline. So it’s not easy. My heart goes out to anybody with ADHD. I know it’s very difficult.
Especially if you’re a young student. But I wish I got diagnosed a long time ago, but I don’t regret having ADHD. I think it’s a wonderful gift. And I’m really embracing well.
Jeff: W when you said you do meditation. Is something that’s something that you did prior to the diagnosis, or was that something you always known that you needed to do to help with whatever was you were dealing with?
Patrick Kwok-Choon: This is actually prior to the diagnosis, actually. When I was in college, I was a communication major. At Concordia university in Montreal. And just so happens. I was doing a documentary on an activist slash kind of like meditation guy. And I took some [00:12:00] classes with this non-profit organization that he was a part of, and I really, really enjoyed it.
You know, I used to meditate for 30 minutes a day for, I remember doing it for two months straight. And the level of. Connectiveness. I felt with other people was astounding. I was so present. So were so in tune with everybody else. I still remember that feeling and it was crazy. Yeah. And that’s why I’m slowly starting to incorporate it back into my life because I feel my brain sometimes is.
So, you know, it’s bouncing off the walls. It’s hyperactive in that sense. I can easily get distracted, but just taking 10 minutes out of my day, right off the top of my day, to let those thoughts just kind of. You know, let all those thoughts go and start fresh is just a really wonderful start of my day.
Jeff: So you, you also are a very accomplished martial artist. You do martial, you do take one DOE Moya Thai is that, is martial arts also a [00:13:00] way for you to. Released the energy from eight year ADHD, or is that, are they not connected or
Patrick Kwok-Choon: don’t get me wrong, like hitting, hitting a bag and getting things is a great release of, of, of stresses.
So I don’t know if it’s helpful for my ADHD. What I will tell you is that yeah, I did TaeKwonDo when I was kid growing up. I got really close to finishing my black belt. But I kinda gave up because I kind of just wanted to spend time and hang out with my friends instead of spending three days a week, practicing this, this martial art.
And then when I was in Toronto I got involved with Krav Maga. I gravitated towards it because it’s a no-nonsense approach to fighting. It there’s no rules, you know, growing kicks, hammer kicks, hammer fist to the spine eye gouges, throat punches. It’s a really no nonsense approach to self-defense.
It’s. Made for close quarter combat. And to help you defend yourself against a really deadly situation, incapacitate [00:14:00] your attacker and leave with your life. So that’s why. That’s why I enjoyed it. And I still enjoy doing it to this day because it’s giving you that, that extra layer of confidence to, you know I’ve been in a lot of dicey situations where I’ve in the past before knowing Krav Maga.
I wondered if I would be able to protect myself and those, my loved ones around me. But now that I have promised my guy, I feel much more confident that I’d be able to handle situations. Yeah.
Jeff: So for, for our listeners, Krav Maga is the martial arts for the Israeli defense force and other special forces units in Israel.
So it’s kind of fascinating that you gravitated towards that. And I must have been also in achieving a black belt in in that I assume you also gives you an insight into cultures as well. Other groups and how And important to them. Do you find that from your experiences, you do have an interesting insight into a lot of different cultures?
Patrick Kwok-Choon: Yeah, definitely. So, but I wouldn’t say only because of Krav Maga, I would say [00:15:00] because of my upbringing, like I was my parents were born in malicious, which is a small Island off the coast of Madagascar. And there’s a huge South Asian population there. The predominant religions are Hinduism and Islam.
And small Catholic population as well. And so that’s part of my culture. And the people that I, I were friends with in high school and very multicultural. But you’re right with TaeKwonDo with Krav Maga, it’s given me an insight on the other, the ways. Different cultures had to defend themselves because of the realities of the SAS, the, the worlds that they were living in because of the chaotic nature that Sorry.
Because the special forces in Israel had to learn crop a golfer close quarter combat. It’s a reality. I mean, you know, those soldiers could be attacked with knives, with guns. And fortunately that’s something that I’ve, I’ve learned through my teacher. My teacher actually was a corrections officer for 13 years.
And so all the techniques that he’s taught me. He’s actually had [00:16:00] to utilize in prisons in the United States, all across Canada. It’s I’m I’m I’m I’m, you know, I’m, I feel, it feels as though I’m fortunate to have that knowledge, but I would never want to inflict that kind of damage on somebody.
And I would never want to be in a situation where I have to use that kind of deadly force. Because no matter how much, you know, Krav Maga or martial arts you use and. If you attacked with a knife or you’re attack with a gun, there’s a good probability that you won’t be able to, to survive no matter how skilled you are.
There’s always that slight probability that, you know, something will go wrong. That maybe this guy who’s attacking with a knife, maybe you’ll be able to fend that off, but maybe he has three other guys waiting around the corner who will take you out. So, you know, It’s not a chance for me to be like, I’m such a tough that ass.
I’m going to kick. This is my time to shine. I’m going to kick, you know, I’m going to beat your, beat you up. Now, if you want my wallet, [00:17:00] you want my phone, I’ll give you my phone. Cause that phone is not worth the price of my, my life. $200 in my wallet is not worth getting money. My fiance killed over, you know what?
I can replace that. But if I’m in a deadly situation where, you know, it’s a hostage takeover or some sort of. You know, something really severe then. Yeah. I have the skills and knowledge base to defend myself, to try to get out and survive. But given the chance to run, man, I’m running,
Jeff: I’m done. I’m totally with you in that.
So all this stuff, these different experiences and cultural experiences and, and martial arts as well. I would imagine is helping you become a better actor and cause you’ve seen more perspectives. So when you, when you attended the George Brown theater school, what did you bring to the school? And what did the school help you learn about the craft of acting that maybe you wouldn’t have acquired otherwise?
Patrick Kwok-Choon: Huh, interesting. You know, I was one of the [00:18:00] only. I was one of my graduating, no, my graduating class was 17 students. We started off with 34 and there was maybe a handful of us who were people of color. So I think it’s important for those institutions to have more people of color because you know, our voices haven’t been heard in this media landscape on those stages, on those TV screens.
And it’s important to teach. Those talented individuals, that there is a home for you. There is a place. And if not, then it’s up to you to create those, those spaces for yourself. Now I loved George Brown theater school. It was something that I needed that I crave for intense theater training. It was 10 hours a day, six days a week of speech acting movement, combat dance.
Everything I wanted, because I knew that if I was going to really give it a go give theater a go, that I needed a hardcore training. And I joke around with a friend of [00:19:00] mine on track who also has ADHD that we’ve peaked. We peaked in, in, in theater school because it was the most structure that we had to stick to.
And now that we’re, you know, self-employed actors and with all the time in the world with no structure, it’s really difficult. And so, yeah. James Simon, who was the artistic director of, of Georgetown theater school, when I attended I still remember the orientation session that made me choose that school.
And he said, we give you the, the paint and the paint brush you know the tools. For your craft and it’s up to you, which tool you like to use the most? You know, we, we, we just give you a plethora of tools that you could, you could, you could choose to, to, to, to use and choose not to use. And that will determine how, what kind of art you create.
So you know, it’s a core of my training. And it’s not the end. I’m still training other, other places. And I still have a lot of room to grow, but I am deeply indebted to that school. So,
Jeff: so you would say that acting maybe sort of like [00:20:00] writing and art is a perpetual learning process.
Patrick Kwok-Choon: Yeah. Definitely, you know just, just because you’re you graduate doesn’t mean that there’s, there’s, there’s not any more for you to learn.
You’re constantly growing. You’re constantly changing. There’s so much knowledge out there that you could just digest and use to create art with. So. Yeah, I, by no means do I consider myself the God gift to acting? And that’s why also I love being part of star Trek because I’m surrounded by such talented professionals with, you know, years of experience over me.
I’m like Michelle Yeoh and Sonico Martin green, Anthony Rapp, Wilson Cruz. These are people who who’ve had their own struggles to deal with. And it’s such a blessing to be a part of that because not only are, do I consider them my friends, but I can, I get to work with them each and every day which is such a gift.
So, yeah, I’m I feel as though I’m a perpetual student, that’s what I consider myself.
Jeff: Whatever you’ve been learning has obviously been successful. Like I said, you’ve [00:21:00] gotten a very good role in star Trek discovery. But if my memory serves you for the character of GaN, Reese was the character you play Lieutenant Henry’s first appears in the fifth episode of the series.
Is that correct?
Patrick Kwok-Choon: Yeah, he does. He does.
Jeff: Was he meant to be reoccurring or did he just end, did you, do, did they just keep wanting to use you over and over again?
Patrick Kwok-Choon: You know I to be honest, I can’t say they keep it pretty tightly wrapped all these, all these things. What I will say is I hope.
Once they saw me that they wanted more, but who knows? What I will say is that I came in the fifth fifth episode of the first season because you wonderful and Uber really talented reca Sharma was the tactical officer and spoiler alert, unfortunately, dies gets eaten by a tardigrade monster. It happens.
It happens, you know, it’s space and all right. So I, I took over the position as tactical officer and man, it was, it was such a trip coming on that bridge for the first time being a fan and all, it was a, it was a wild [00:22:00] experience. And you know, four years later, we’re we’re shooting right now.
We’re shooting the fourth season. It’s it’s been a life-changing experience and I’m so blessed to have had these experiences in my life time and time again, there’s been like moments where I just meet the right person to guide me in the right direction. Do the right project to lead me to incredible people to surround myself with.
So, you know, with this whole pandemic and. With the state of the world at this present moment, I’m just really grateful to be a part of it. All, whatever happens happens, but it’s, it’s, it’s a real blessing. So
Jeff: if you’re shooting season four now, and. As you mentioned deaths in star Trek, Voyager, season three, we lost Georgiou sort of, they are commander non left.
Ren was killed. Are we sure is the kind of Reese guaranteed the season four season four to like to make it through apparently discovery likes to kill off the character.
Patrick Kwok-Choon: So, first off it sounds like you’ve watched, you’ve watched quite a bit of [00:23:00] discovery. So
Jeff: every episode we’ll certainly.
Patrick Kwok-Choon: Okay. Good.
Good, good. Nice to meet this. Nice to hear. We have the chat later on to see what you think. Cause I’m always curious about what fans think about the show because I’m such a fan as well of star Trek in general. So to answer your question is. Nobody is safe in space.
Patrick Kwok-Choon: I’m not smelling anything.
I’m just saying, you know, expect the unexpected,
Jeff: As a star Trek fan, who, you know, from watching the other series, these other series don’t have the main character death count the way star Trek discovery seems at least, or at least a writing off limit to like discovery has. And so like every character you do feel is endangered and you’re like, no, no, no, no.
The character needs to survive. Yeah.
Patrick Kwok-Choon: I mean, I think. There’s a lot of pros and cons to it, right? Like you feel it’s kind of like game of Thrones, to be honest, I remember watching the first season and I forgot, I forgot the father who dies. Yeah, I was like what’s. I remember, I remember reading the [00:24:00] book before game of Thrones came out the TV series.
I don’t remember throwing the book across the room when he died and also with the red wedding. It was just like the F this. So, yeah, I think it’s kind of exciting, right? ’cause you, you you, you you get attached to these characters, you learn to love them. And when something horrible happens to them, Hurts that much more, but that’s that’s real life, right?
You can’t hold on to everything forever. Yeah. It,
Jeff: it, it, it does help keep the tension live because you don’t know when these characters are going to leave you and you appreciate them a little bit more. And your character of Lieutenant Reese does feel like it has been getting more development as the series has gone on.
Do you feel that the character has given you, or has been more opportunities now and where would you want the character to go?
Patrick Kwok-Choon: Hmm. That’s a great question. I mean, as I told you before, I’m like, I’m just really happy to be part of the show. It was actually like something that was on my vision board [00:25:00] before I got the part And now I’m part of like star Trek history, which is incredible.
What I will say, I mean, I can’t reveal much. Oh, well, I will say is that I remember being at the Las Vegas star Trek convention, maybe about two years ago and the bridge crew and I were having a panel discussion with a large audience and attendance and. Owen and I both said that we’d love to do more fighting on the show and just so happens.
Michelle paradise the show runner of Startrek discovery was in the audience and she was taking notes and she came up to us afterwards and saying, you know what? I took, I took a lot of notes and we’re going to try and make these things happen. And. There you go see you in three Oh eight. And I had this Epic knife battle in the mirror universe which was just lovely, you know?
And so I can’t reveal much, but you know, they’re making, I know, I know a lot of fans out there, like I read sometimes the message boards, I’ve tuned into some of the, the, the fan sites, cause I’m a fan as well. And so [00:26:00] I know that the fans are craving for more bridge crew for me. Bigger storylines. And all I could say is you guys have to be patient you know, star Trek is in such good hands right now.
Look at all the Trek that the fan base has at their disposal. Picard discovery, lower decks. They’re going to get strange new worlds with Anson Mount, you know, maybe a section 31 with Michelle Yeoh. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say that. I think it’s been revealed. It’s been
Jeff: announced a long time ago about don’t worry about it.
Patrick Kwok-Choon: So, so if you know, I can understand how maybe some of the diehard fans don’t love discovery. I could see your point, but there’s so much Trek out there that we could all be excited about. You know, and a lot of diehard fans don’t like discovery because it’s, it feels as though it’s not TNG. You know, it’s not the same uniforms.
It’s not episodic kind of storytelling. It’s a, it’s more of a long form. Like a deep space. Nine is what [00:27:00] I heard. But there’s so much Trek out there. It’s in good hands. And for me to answer your question about galleries, I don’t know. I’d love, obviously, as an artist, I’d love to have more to do.
But then again, like, again, I’m just happy to be here and happy to be surrounded by people that I’m learning from. And not only becoming a better actor, but becoming a better human, to be honest. So that’s part of my artistry. And I’ll carry that towards the next project that I’m on. So it’s all good, man.
Jeff: I know 30 minutes have passed, but if you mind, I have about three more questions. Yeah. Yeah, dude,
Patrick Kwok-Choon: dude, I’m free all night. So if you want to shoot the shit, let’s shoot the shit.
Jeff: Thank you. I agree. I appreciate that. And because you gave me that opening, I do want to go back and make a quick comment.
The people, I think there’s themes that when the people who have issue with the changes to star Trek, now that it’s on CBS access star Trek, I don’t think they recognizing that. It’s not the same world, either as it was when next generation was on a deep space, nine [00:28:00] is on. And I think you do need shows that recognize the differences and bring in an audience who want to see those differences.
It’s the same universe you’re entering them in. Yeah,
Patrick Kwok-Choon: definitely. Definitely. And I think it’s. Discovery is, has such strong female characters. And it’s something that we’ve needed for decades in this media landscape, you know, and also the positive representation that it’s doing for the LGBTQ community is immense and it’s important.
And the issues that we’ve You were talking about in season three with a non-binary and the trans community is, is so important. And so. There’s a tweet that I need to respond back to. Somebody messaged me. They’re like messaged me on Twitter about like, Oh, don’t, don’t you feel as though again, Reese is being muted.
Don’t you want strong Asian male representation. And I haven’t gotten back to him because there’s a picture that I want to send them. And I understand his anger and his frustration I do, [00:29:00] but. There’s other shows too, like warrior for instance, or crazy rich Asians. There’s, there’s, there’s other places for that.
And for now, like I’m, I’m happy to be a part of star Trek discovery. And I feel as though my involvement in Startrek discovery does provide positive representation for sure. Asian men in general But I feel, I understand people’s frustration sometimes. But I think you have to see all the good that star Trek is providing, as you said.
Jeff: And, and I, and I agree with you a hundred percent, I think how it’s handling the characters of the relationship between Stamets and Colbert. It’s so perfectly handled that I think it does give. A very positive message to those who are not only in the LGBTQ community, but those outside it, and maybe who are outside and need to.
[00:30:00] See a good representation of LGBTQ relationship to maybe change how their views have been
Patrick Kwok-Choon: on it. A hundred percent, a hundred percent.
Jeff: One thing. I know this come about my feelings start discovery. I’m a, I was away where star Trek fan for a bit. I, I was a fan of the space nine. I was a fan of the original star Trek, but I wasn’t, I had stepped away from Voyager at the end and enterprise, but discovery drew me back into, into the universe of Star Trek.
And not only that, but it made me go back and rewatch, Voyager and enterprise and D space nine again, which I love decided I didn’t mind that one. And I think it’s a great way. Once again, it’s a good entry point, I think for once again, those who have not seen star Trek, but. Enters through discovery, which kind of has a feeling of star Trek, but very, but a more modern version of it, I think.
Patrick Kwok-Choon: Yeah. [00:31:00] Yeah. Yeah. I, I definitely agree. You know, I came from the other side of things actually. You say you started with deep space nine. I started with Voyager went. Back to, you know, my first introduction to star Trek was with the TNG customizable card game. I played that in elementary school, even before watching what TNG was.
And then it took like a decade before I started watching Voyager and then went to T and G watched all of enterprise. And and making my way through tos, which is a bit of a grind. And I haven’t seen, I haven’t seen deep space nine, although everybody tells me it’s the best track out there.
Jeff: After the second, you got to get about three seasons in before it grabs you.
It is, it is, it is took a while for it to find his identity. It went from kind of star Trek, next generation on a space station, which when you watch next generation, it really feels like it’s on the space station anyway, because they’ll have it on the ship anyway, you know, [00:32:00] the holodeck and some weirdness in the, in the hallways or something like that.
But deep space, nine. It starts getting its voice and it starts taking some more risks and the more risks it take, the better became until it eventually becomes a very deep intelligence
Patrick Kwok-Choon: story. Yeah. I got to tune into it. I keep hearing that, you know, that, that was part of the reason why I never gravitated towards the MCs mine, because it was a space station.
Like I miss the sense of exploration. Oh yeah. I like, that’s why I liked you know, all the other iterations of star Trek, but yeah, you’re right. I got to give deep space nine ago and I’m planning to, but you know, it’s first world problems. There’s so much TV out there. You know, I still haven’t touched Picard yet because with my like ATC OCD, I’m a purist sometimes.
And I want like before I watch the card, I need to watch. TNG all over again, to get a good sense of what Picard’s really feeling that’s never gonna happen. I just got to dive into Picard and some lower decks and some deep space nine,
Jeff: believe it or not. [00:33:00] There’s very few references. I think, to the original next generation TV show.
It can exist, I think, outside it on some level. And I’m sure the fans who are a little more. Purists. And I will say that Picard isn’t part of next. Great. Because make enough changes that you can say they’re not necessarily connected or alternate universe kind of thing, but it’s worth watching.
And I think going back to what you said about exploring, I think the smartest thing discovery did was to take the ship into the far future. It, it was a brilliant look at not only explore other worlds. But you get to re-explore the Federation again, for the first time Federation, it seems new to you.
If you, if you watched the previous series now, suddenly you can explore that world again as well. And it was ingenious step, right? Yeah.
Patrick Kwok-Choon: I mean, when I read, cause we would get the episodes episode by episode. I, I, when I started the season, I had no idea how it was going to end. And so when I read episode 13 and I [00:34:00] knew that we were going to go into the future or episode 15, I forgot how many episodes we had that season.
I was excited. Like you wouldn’t believe because as a Trekkie, you know, part of the, my love for star Trek was seeing these new alien races, these new, the new technology, the new ships out there. I was getting out, I was ready for what the future had entailed for all of us. Like I was super stoked. And yeah, you guys are in for a wild ride for season four, man.
It’s it’s, it’s crazy.
Jeff: I can’t wait to see it. I will say the one thing I would like to see more of in star Trek discovery is more new England races and more new technology. Because once again, I love the show and I think the ship is fantastic, but I would love to have seen the movie. Take a greater leap in what the technology is going to look like.
So I would love to see them explore that further
Patrick Kwok-Choon: patients, my friend, patients,
Jeff: it’s hard. I mean, I guess we’re looking at what would be a year from now. [00:35:00]
Patrick Kwok-Choon: Well we are shooting season four, so yeah, it’s going to be awhile before. I don’t know the timeline. I can’t, I can’t give that information, but you know, we’re we’re in the midst of shooting right now, so, and I think what today was.
The season finale for season three, correct?
Jeff: Yeah, I have not watched it. I gotta wait for my wife to come home, so I have to watch it with with my wife, which will kill me.
Patrick Kwok-Choon: Yeah, I hear you. I mean, but that’s the unfortunate thing about the whole pandemic, right? It put a real, you know, pause on a lot of, on the world in general.
And so we are slowly getting back in the groove of things.
Jeff: But it must have been wonderful for streaming.
Patrick Kwok-Choon: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Definitely.
Jeff: So when you’re you said you get, you, you get the episodes the script for episodes right before they air. Are you, do you get to only the ones you appearing or do you get every
Patrick Kwok-Choon: episode?
No, no, no. Sorry. I mean to say that we like at the start of a season, I’ll get maybe, maybe the first two scripts [00:36:00] out of, out of cause because the writers are writing it as we’re. Like, you know, as we’re working on the first two episodes, they’re probably writing episode seven or eight. It’s not in the, not every, not the whole entire season is in the can.
So they’re constantly doing changes, updates, revisions adding new characters or taking out some characters. So Yeah. I like, for example, the season in season four, I only know up to season. I only know up to episode six so far. I have no idea what w what the season going to look like.
Jeff: The metal spoilers, you know, right now is there.
People out there who would pay money to get your information?
Patrick Kwok-Choon: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I have a lot of friends who were our track using that and I can’t tell them anything because obviously I would lose my job really important to me. But also I think it’s, it’s, it’s really exciting for people just to be surprised, like who wants to be spoiled by that kind of information beforehand?
[00:37:00] No fun, no fun. Can
Jeff: you Say whether or not your character of Reese is going to get more screen time.
Patrick Kwok-Choon: I can’t say anything. Fortunately, unfortunately what I can say is that we’re shooting season four, which would be a good thing to hear Yeah, I think all I could say is have faith. I mean, if you love star Trek discovery, you’re in for a real treat.
If you’re on the fence with star Trek discovery, please, you know, stay tuned and I promise you we’ll pull you. And for the haters out there, like, you know, That’s fine. That’s your opinion. There’s other track out there to, to please, to please you, or, you know, there’s a Yorkville so
Jeff: well when I’m in these groups and they, I do hear the, you know, the voice of the haters out there from discovery. I kind of something I will often say is it’s not every show has to be for you pacifically what I’m saying. It’s okay to say, well, this show then maybe it’s for a different audience, but that audience is good.
You want [00:38:00] that audience? In your group of fans because it not only does it enlarge, it ensures it’s survival, but also once again, it’s good to have these other people in your circle that you can talk to interact with and debate with who might not, you might not have known if it wasn’t for that initial connection of a show or comic or whatever,
Patrick Kwok-Choon: a hundred percent.
And like, you’re what I tell the haters is, you know, it’s fine to have that opinion, but your, your Trek isn’t going anywhere. You know, all those episodes of TNG tos, you could rewatch it over and over again. So keep giving this new iteration of track a chance because at its core, we’re still trying to live up to gene Roddenberry’s vision.
It might look a little different to you. And maybe it’s because you know, it doesn’t affect you on a day to day. We’re giving a voice to the voiceless. And I think that’s important and I think that’s what gene would have wanted. So yeah, stay, stay tuned.
Jeff: I think so. I [00:39:00] think the people who disturbed me the most are the ones who are, who would suggest that Startrek, shouldn’t be political.
Like Startrek has been political since. I mean, it was inherently based on political ideas and literally had the first interracial kiss and TV. I don’t understand the argument against it at all.
Patrick Kwok-Choon: Yeah. It’s, it’s hard. It’s hard to, you know, you know, it’s, it’s hard. With through with like even the political landscape, it’s hard to, to the bridge, the gap to get past and, and, and, and, and you know, change the mindset of somebody, or actually not change the mindset.
Cause that’s, that’s a bad way of phrasing things just to, just to have an, you know, an open, friendly discussion about the pros and cons and see if we could meet somewhere in the middle. Yeah. I don’t know, man. I don’t know. So for,
Jeff: To discuss a little bit on some of the previous episodes just briefly.
There was some, some indications with your character of Reese, that there was some [00:40:00] interest between Reese’s character and Ensign Tilly. Though I think it was mostly on research, but I don’t think Tilly ever showed any interest at all. It was in the episode magic to make the sanest man go mad. Was this, is this relationship something that you thought should it be developed more or is this, was that kind of like a one episode?
Thing. That’s not going to be, you don’t think should be, or will be revisited.
Patrick Kwok-Choon: I would never want to kiss Mary Wiseman. No, I say that guys, Mary, I love Mary Wiseman. Like you wouldn’t believe, I know we have such a brother sister relationship on and off the set. We’re constantly making fun of each other, playing pranks on each other.
Just joking around And like, like really mean-spirited comments to each other, sometimes all at all in the, in the sake of fun. Cause we have that kind of sense of humor. And I dig that about her, so yeah, I’d totally be up for it, you know? Yeah. Throw a little romance. It’s always, it’s always fun to explore.
She’s a fantastic, [00:41:00] wonderfully talented. Stella Lily, beautiful. Who doesn’t love a red head to be honest. So yeah, of course, Reese Reese bring it on. That’s above my pay grade though. So,
Jeff: I mean, I was thinking back in star Trek and one of the only real functional relationships in the entire. World of star Trek is damaged and Culver.
Everyone else has some sort of level of dysfunction. And I think you got to have one more until he and Reese sounds like a good one. It does
Patrick Kwok-Choon: sound like a good one. I mean, you know, you should you should start, start, start saying that more and more and more people. Maybe he’ll he’ll create a mood.
Jeff: don’t you do is get the writers now on the show and then. As the episode just can repeat over and over again, my, my, my own personal feelings and what I want to say.
Patrick Kwok-Choon: Yeah. Yeah. Who knows, man? I mean, yeah. Part of the, part of the, the, the, the great thing about being on the show is like, you’re constantly surprised by the writing, by [00:42:00] where they’re taking the show. So I kinda like being in the dark of not knowing the entire season Yeah, it keeps it fresh. It keeps it entertaining.
And it’s also like, not as distracting cause I could commit, I don’t have to worry about what happens to Reese in episode 12 when I’m only working on C on episode three, I’m along for the ride, just like the viewers are when they get to finally see it. And I think that’s a lovely thing as an actor, but also as a fan.
Jeff: the episodes do come to you, if you have, have, has there been any, you want to give any specifics? Has there ever been an issue where you mentioned that you want something changed or added and either incorporated or didn’t?
Patrick Kwok-Choon: Yeah. It happened this season actually and safe to say it was a change that I noticed in the writing I had to do with my character.
And I think it’s fine to say that I reached out to Michelle and be like, I think, can we change it to this? Because I feel as though Reese would think this way. And kudos to Michelle. She’s lovely because she has always told us, [00:43:00] you can always reach out to me if you have any concerns questions. And so I don’t feel as though she’s just like my superior.
I feel as though she’s a fellow artist who I can reach out to when I have these questions and these concerns, and immediately she said, that’s a wonderful idea. Let’s do it. Let’s change it. And sh and, and we did so, you know, it, it doesn’t come every day. I’ll tell you that, like I’ve been, I’ve, I’ve been around the circuit for a long, for a lot of years.
And these experiences only happen like once out of every, you know, five years, you get a group of people that you love going to work with. The writers that you are, you know, Yeah, incredibly impressed by that you love working on their material. Yeah, I don’t know, man. I mean, I’m just, I’m just happy to be along for the ride, to be honest.
Wherever it takes me,
Jeff: I find it interesting. I think it happens more with the star Trek, cruise crew members [00:44:00] than almost any other show where the fans really care whether or not the, the actors. Off the set or actually close or not. Like people argued all the time about the original star Trek and how, you know, the issues that they had on how tight to start your next raging group were.
And so on and so on. What is the, are the members of discovery as tight offset as
Patrick Kwok-Choon: they are onset? Well, I will tell you this, that Jonathan Frakes, who has directed us you know, many, many episodes, and he’s a fantastic director. And he’s even told us, he’s like you guys remind me of the TNG cast. We are such a tight family.
And a lot of that is I believe due to Sinica Martin green. She is a true number one on the call sheet, but she’s a true number one as a leader, as an actor as, as, as, as, as a cast member she. Gives a hundred percent of her passion and her love and [00:45:00] her generosity to everybody that she comes in contact with and that kind of energy trickles down across this entire, like this huge machine that we’re working with.
And so. I mean, we’ve had many, a game night. She loves playing mafia and her husband Kendrick. It stresses me out.
But you know, we’ve had huge casts, gatherings, aunts, and mounts, and Equa Anthony Wilson Ronnie, Emily, everybody, we all attend these things. Cause we like being in each other’s company.
Jeff: No, no. I know Anthony Rapp has a dungeon and dragon games, but that’s something that you take part in or no.
Patrick Kwok-Choon: Oh, man. See, because of my ADHD I, I reached out to Noah Mary Wiseman’s husband. No, actually actually I made a Twitter post about D and D cause I was remember I was watching ITI the other day and I saw them playing a game right off the top. I knew it wasn’t D and D, but it kind of reminded me of D and D I think it was kind of like [00:46:00] trouble or trolls or something anyways.
So I reached out on Twitter being like, Something about D and D and how I’d love to play. One day, Noah reached out to me. I didn’t know that he was a D and D master. He’s like, let’s get a game going once season four starts. And he was on my case over and over again. Start creating your character. And to be honest, because my ADHD, I kept putting it off.
I had other priorities, like building this gym in my house and some voice work that I do on the side. And then recently, maybe a week and a half ago, I committed, I started creating my character. He’s going to be a dragon born character named Kojak. He is going to be a dragon born monk. I committed like two hours of my time.
I reached out to know I’m like, Hey man, I don’t know if it’s still cool, but can you add me on the list? I’d love to play. And I know Noah is, is, is, is really busy. And he just told me that he doesn’t have the bandwidth to incorporate another character at this time. So you pretty much crushed me spirit.
No. So I’m, I’m I’m on [00:47:00] the sidelines. I’m on, I’m on the bench at the moment, but I know he’s really trying to find some time for me to come in. It’s just like, I can’t, I don’t even know how to play D and D, but I can only imagine how much work the dungeon master has to do to to make it enjoyable for everybody.
So I don’t want to be the guy who comes in and then the game is kind of like, not as great as it used to be. So I’m completely fine with waiting. It’s all ingest. Like I’ll, I’d love to play. I’ll immerse myself once I’m invited, but I’m okay to wait and wait for now.
Jeff: I’m going to be interviewing Noah at the end of this month.
So I’m going to bring it. I’ll be like. You know, weird that why is Patrick not in the goddamn?
Patrick Kwok-Choon: Tell you, tell that you tell that son fucked me into some D and D man. I’d be the only dragon born monk amongst your group. I could do things. I got skills, man.
Jeff: Th this whole thing would just be an ambush on Noah to talk about DND and why you’re not in the game.
If you don’t want to talk to me, God dammit. Talk about, get Patrick in the game we’re done with this interview right now. [00:48:00] Exactly.
Patrick Kwok-Choon: Exactly. No, I love, I love Noah. I mean yeah, he’s, he’s a great dude and he, that he did such a good. Great job this season as Rin. And like he’s also a diehard fan. I don’t know how much how much you’ve seen in his Twitter feed, but like he had like this compilation of, of him at conventions and him in costume and stuff.
So, you know, it was lovely that he could be a part of the show. And he did some fantastic work and
Jeff: yeah. So have you started going through the star Trek circuit? I imagine convention circuit. Prior to this whole, you know, disaster
Patrick Kwok-Choon: attract Las Vegas that creation entertainment puts on is, is a blast.
I went in 2019. It was my first time. It was my second convention cause I did one in Houston. Which was also very fun, but man Vegas convention is the Mecca of, of star Trek conventions, a four day event and going back to the fan base and how [00:49:00] they care. So much about the CAS time and time.
Again, people would come up to, to me like Lieutenant Glenn, Reese, who didn’t have a lot of things to do in the first season, by any means, but they knew my name. They said, welcome to the family. You’re part of the family for life. Now, anything you need, let us know. Oh, that’s awesome. Hugs taking pictures. I mean, these are people who are paying their hard earned.
Dollars for my autograph for my photograph for a chance to take part of a panel. And that is just such a gift. And whenever I meet these people, I’m like, here, here, take all of me. Anything you want, any questions you need answered. I’m here for you because you are giving so much of who you are, your love for this franchise that the least I could do is to give you my undivided attention.
And like, I have a job because of all these people, you know, without the fans, there would no, there would not be a [00:50:00] show. So my heart goes out to all the, the, the Trekkies out there. I’m glad that you support the show. I’m glad that you love the show. And please, if you if you ever come to a convention and you see me and you’ve heard this podcast before then, you know, just like let’s chat Yeah.
Jeff: Well, I would love if you would come to one of the Northeast combo conventions. Like I said, as a fan, I would love to get an autograph of viewers. So definitely Ronan, Comicon, terrific con Boston comic con come to one of those. Okay. Okay. Yeah. So I can get in line
Patrick Kwok-Choon: with the best way. Cause all these conventions like you, the fans have to request the fans really have to request who they want.
To, to, to, to, to get there in attendance. So if there’s a lot of demand for gen Reese, or if there’s a lot of demand for the bridge crew as a unit, then just, just, just reach out to these conventions and they’ll bring us down. So yeah, I’m always up for coming to a convention. I love, I love conventions because I get to explore the city.
I get to eat the great food bans. It’s it’s such a wild ride. [00:51:00] Yeah, I love it. I love it’s. It’s it’s such a, an, a bonus to being part of star
Jeff: Trek. So for our listeners, you heard, you heard Patrick annoying your local convention, get him on your damn convention. And that goes double. If you’re a Rhode Island comic con terrific.
On our Boston Comicon, you heard me. Do it,
Patrick Kwok-Choon: yeah. Do that and also message Noah and tell him that Patrick wants to play some D
Jeff: and D, but that, that part’s true. We’re going to hashtag get Patrick in the game. The
Patrick Kwok-Choon: worst thing is like, I’m going to play my first session and I’ll be like, I don’t really like this.
Right. Just ruin it for everybody. No, I think I’m such a diehard nerd deep down that I think I’m really going to gravitate towards it. Part of the thing that I’m worried about D and D is like, I’m an introvert at heart, to be honest with an extra personality sometimes. And so the whole performance aspect of D and D I don’t, I don’t know if I want to.
Talk and behave like my character all the time. Is that, is that part of it? Oh, newbie.
Jeff: I am to D and D [00:52:00] I’ve never played D and D in my life. That’s an honest thing to say. It’s one of those games that I’ve always felt that I should be playing because I’m a huge nerd and geek. Yeah. But I’ve never actually had the friends enough to play.
So, so I never had like D and D friends, but I always, I always thought that was game. I should be playing, but I’d never got around to it, but I’ve heard Anthony Rapp. Discuss it. And I felt that Patrick should be on the damn game, though, if you do get in the game and Pat and Anthony Rapp tweets that you ruined it for everybody, I’ll be very disappointed.
Patrick Kwok-Choon: Andrew, Anthony was the one who reached out to me via text because Anthony and I go back, like we. Anthony. And I like loved playing Texas Hold’em poker and we’ve gone to, you know, several competitions together. So we’ve had many, a heart to heart, so he texts me every now and then. And he’s like, you know, you got to come into the game.
It’d be nice to get some fresh blood into this game. And so that was the nudge I needed to start creating my character. So, you know, I’m, I’m in no rush. It’s all ingest. Take your time, Noah. I know [00:53:00] you have a lot on your plate. But yeah, it’ll be fun. Yeah, that’s crazy, man.
Jeff: So what I want to do. So a couple more questions.
I read on your Twitter that you are supplying voice where for new animated series. Can you share what animated series that is?
Patrick Kwok-Choon: Oh man, I don’t think I can because it hasn’t been revealed yet. Yeah. What I will say. It was a show that I watched when I was a kid growing up I have to sing in it.
I’m a guest star in it. It was super fun. I’ve been doing a lot more voice lately, which has been such a lovely gift. I’m a, I can say that I’ve been doing a lot of ki you know, the car Kia. So I’m the voice of Kia commercials here in Canada. So that as a side gig, it’s a really lovely gig to have, but I’m doing a lot more animation stuff.
I’m in the running for home, man. This would be amazing. I can’t even reveal that this is the curse thing. After you have all this like pent up energy, because you’re hoping for all these things, but I’m in the top two for the lead of a, an animation series that. [00:54:00] If I said the name, everybody would know what I’m talking about.
Okay. Wow. Yeah. Yeah. And so that’s part of what I love about this career. It’s kinda like, it’s kind of like, you have all these like scratch tickets. Like you’re so close to something that’s phenomenal. Phenomenal. Obviously the rejection is really awful too, but that’s the nature of the beast. Right? You can’t win everything.
Jeff: While you can’t say the name of the show or probably the franchise. Can you mention if it’s network streaming or in some other way, so to get a sense of where this could end up being?
Patrick Kwok-Choon: Nope. I can’t even say that. Unfortunately. Yeah.
Patrick Kwok-Choon: program. Yeah, man. My hands are tied. Yeah. I’m usually terrible with secrets too, but when yeah.
Oh, and it’s my job on the line. Like, I, I
Jeff: know a lot of people when you are able to announce these things that you’re doing, I do hope you get in touch with [00:55:00] me so we can have another episode so we can discuss it.
Patrick Kwok-Choon: Oh dude. Yeah. Any time this was, this was a really fun, it’s always good to meet new people and to, you know, shoot the shit with new people.
Yeah, anytime man, reach out.
Jeff: Thank you so much. You are absolutely awesome. I really enjoyed speaking
Patrick Kwok-Choon: with you. No problem, Jeff.